The fire in Carmel is extinguished and the Israeli Air Force said goodbye yesterday and today to the firefighting crews from around the world. “You demonstrated responsibility, professionalism, partnership, and courage”, was written on certificates of appreciation in ten different languages. There is no doubt that the aerial support was the decisive factor in the fight against the Carmel fire
Goodbye ceremonies for the fire fighting crews from around the world occurred yesterday evening and today at the Nevatim and Ramat David IAF bases and similar ceremonies will occur today at the Haifa and Tel Nof IAF bases.
The 192 fire fighting crew members and every member of the fire fighting delegations from Greece, Turkey, Russia, Great Britain, Cyprus, Switzerland, Spain, Azerbeijan, France and Croatia were granted special certificates of appreciation from the Commander of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, that said in Hebrew and in their native language:
“This certificate of appreciation is granted for the aerial fire fighting support against the great fire on the Carmel Mountain in the State of Israel. Throughout your efforts, you demonstrated responsibility, devotion to the mission, professionalism, cooperation, courage, and true camaraderie. Signed, Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, Commander of the IAF”.
The pilots from the international aid crews were very appreciative, saying that the IAF acted with complete professionalism and that the Israeli pilots were impressive. The Greek pilots said that they were returning to the State of Israel the support that the IAF gave to them during the great fire in Greece. Commander of the Ramat David IAF base, Col. S., said: “The cooperation was amazing. Together, we broke boundaries, crossing the language and cultural barriers. Everyone focused on one mission – saving lives and saving the Carmel forest”.
Commander of the Nevatim IAF base, Brig. Gen. E. said: “With us we say that friends are measured in times of tragedy. The State of Israel was faced with a tragedy, a disaster. You were there for us and proved to be true friends. This is the way we felt throughout the entire time we fought together against the fire. Thank you and I want to give you my most sincere appreciation on behalf of the State of Israel, the IAF, and myself”.